I question my masculinity every day. Is this the way a man should act? Is this how a man should dress? Is this what a man should look like? As an Asian male, I’ve been questioning myself non-stop since the first day I arrived in the States.
For the longest time, white male have come across on screen as being charismatic, physically attractive, outspoken, sporty and admired by a lot of women. Meanwhile, in America, Asian men are so underrepresented or misrepresented as someone who are undesirable and passive, as sexless tropes, geeks or sidekicks. This perception is so deeply ingrained that the more I live, study and work with my white peers, the more I ask myself “Is this the right way to be a man?”.
cauc(asian) is my exploration of and question about my Asian masculinity. I don’t talk like my white male friends. I’m not as athletic as they are. Our social behaviours are different. And that makes me feel more emasculated every day and insecure about myself everywhere I go - the classroom, the gym, in public and even in my room watching movies in which Western masculinity is considered optimal standard of masculinity.
However, should those differences make me less of a man? No. I take pride in my identity, my culture, my blood and try to be a better man every day without having to embrace the term “toxic masculinity” or fit into the Western ideal because there is no right way or one way to be a man.